Max Yurenda, CEO, Announces 2023 Retirement

In 1992, Actor and Philanthropist, Paul Newman and Businessman and Philanthropist, Charley Wood joined forces to create the Double H Ranch, A Seriousfun Camp.

To make their dream a reality they needed to enlist a leader with drive, determination, and heart.  With that in mind they enlisted the camp’s founding and enduring CEO, Max Yurenda.

max rolls kickballAfter 30 years at the helm Max Yurenda, CEO of Double H Ranch recently announced his plan to retire at the end of March 2023.

“It has been the honor and privilege of my lifetime to serve as the CEO of Double H Ranch,” said Yurenda.  “I am incredibly proud of this organization and the impact we have made. I am humbled and grateful for having this opportunity to witness the power and magic of the Double H experience that will continue to flourish into the future.”

Max sits on step next to Charley Wood

Double H officially opened its doors on July 4, 1993 and has served over 80,000 children dealing with life-threatening illnesses from around the world all completely Free of Charge. It was the second “Hole in the Wall Camp” in what has become a worldwide network of not-for-profit recreational and therapeutic experiences for children with serious illness.

“Max has been at the helm of Double H Ranch since its inception. He was selected as CEO by my dad, Charles R. Wood, as he saw the potential in Max and knew he could carry out the dream and goals he had for this local camp modeled after Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Camp in CT.  Max’s leadership skills have made Double H Ranch a star in the Serious Fun Children’s Network. He will be greatly missed but I know he will leave the camp in the hands of a great team he has cultivated over his many years of service,” shared Charlene Wood, Ranch Board Member and Charles R. Wood Foundation Trustee.

The Double H Ranch resides on 320 acres of land with waterfront access to Lake Vanare. Facilities include camper cabins that accommodate 126 campers, staff cabins that accommodate a total of 125 staff members and volunteer cabins that accommodate 50 volunteers. Program areas include an indoor and outdoor pool, a high ropes course, archery, horseback riding and pasture, picnic pavilion, stage area, dining hall, arts & crafts, ski lodge and two winter ski and snowboard slopes.

max yurenda poses for a photo with neil golub and paul newman

Neil Golub Executive Chairman of the Board of The Golub Corporation and Double H Ranch Honorary Life Chairman shared, “I have been close to Max since camp opened in 1993. After having served as Chairman for eight years I know him well. The skills required to manage and lead a 501(c)(3) institution of this complexity are vast. Max Yurenda truly epitomized the best of the best in his field. He has performed as a superstar and everyone close to him would agree.”

The Double H Ranch Board of Directors has launched a nationwide search and engaged a consulting firm with expertise in the recruitment of CEO’s in the NFP and recreational camp world.  While the search committee and firm are focused on finding a successor Yurenda will focus on leading the organization as it celebrates its 30th Anniversary.

Some of the highlights of Mr. Yurenda’s 30-year illustrious career include:

  • Creating a formal partnership with the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center in the Fall of 1993.
  • Forming a strong and dedicated Board of Directors to lead the strategic direction of the organization.
  • Strengthening financial sustainability for the organization.
  • Encouraging an all-inclusive and welcoming environment that promotes an “I can do it” attitude.
  • Establishing a reputation of excellence in the community and NFP sector.
  • Leading a successful inaugural capital campaign for the organization with the completion of numerous capital improvements to enhance the accessibility and experience for all.
  • Pivoting the organization throughout the COVID Pandemic and successfully providing alternative and virtual programs for our campers and families.

Mr. Yurenda is eager to spend time with family and friends as he enters the next chapter of his journey. He is confident the Double H Ranch is the strongest it has ever been and the leadership at the Board and staff levels will ensure that the Double H Ranch will continue to grow and prosper with his successor.

max sits at table with campers and families coloring“Over the past 30 years Max has led this incredible organization with enormous passion and vision. His commitment to bringing magical experiences to thousands of children with serious illness has been an inspiration to his staff, board members, volunteers, and the entire community. Max’s leadership, hard work and so many accomplishments have paved the way for Double H Ranch to continue to bring the Magic to our Kids for many years to come. I look forward to Max’s active involvement in finding his replacement and ensuring an excellent transition with our next leader,” shared Charlie Crew, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

11 thoughts on “Max Yurenda, CEO, Announces 2023 Retirement

  1. Max has led Double H with more than wisdom and integrity, he has led it with heart and soul. The legacy he leaves will live in our hearts and souls forever. Thank you Max for all your hard work, dedication and most of all for the love you have shared with everyone who has had the privilege of knowing and working with you. You have put Double H on the road to the brightest of futures.

  2. Congratulations and thank you for all you have done for the kids and their families. Enjoy your last year and your retirement.

  3. Hey Max it’s Jason Rossi I just wanted to let you know that I’ve read the big announcement on the Facebook page congratulations I’m glad they still have at least one more summer to go the summer into 2023 of 2023 and I just want to most importantly of all thank you for the work that you have done to make the ranch what it is today and I’d like as well as a camper for a couple of years it has been a true honor to be part of your organization and it is a wonderful honor to know you and to have Mets some of the wonderful staff that you were going to say she has worked with the organization would not be what it is today had it not been for the hard work of a kind person such as yourself

  4. Max is as close to super-human as anyone can be. The great joy his efforts have brought to children and their families has spread to all of us who so love our time at Double H, whether we are staff or volunteers. We have all basked in the warmth that Max and an inspiring Double H staff created. Few people I know can be so rightfully proud of their legacy. My very best wishes to a remarkable man.

  5. Max you’ve done a wonderful job with all aspects of the ranch. But we all will miss you! However, should you need any advice on how to manage your retirement time check with me. I’m an expert retiree. Enjoy, enjoy.

  6. Bob Dorfman would be very proud of you
    Congratulations and good luck in the next phase of your very successful life
    Bob Peck

  7. Max- you have been amazing leader and have left such a positive impact on thousands of children and hundred of counselors. The world needs more folks like you. Thank you for all your years of dedicated service.
    Laurel Mckernan

  8. Max- you have been amazing leader and have left such a positive impact on thousands of children and hundred of counselors. The world needs more folks like you. Thank you for all your years of dedicated service.
    Laurel Mckernan

  9. I can’t imagine the Ranch without you Max. The impact you have had on so many lives is unsurmountable. Your hard work and dedication combined with your empathy and spirit has brought laughter, joy and happiness to so many children, families and staff. There is no doubt you are blessed with a gift of healing, and those who have worked under your leadership have also been blessed to have had the experience. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be involved in the early years of the Ranch opening, and I hope to volunteer more when I retire. There is no place more magical than the Double H! Good luck and Congratulations!

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